CMS

Report Released: Independent Nursing Home COVID-19 Commission Findings

The independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes released its final report to CMS on September 16. The Commission report was created to conduct an independent review and comprehensive assessments of confronting COVID-19. This report contains best practices that emphasize and reinforce CMS strategies and initiatives, including those implemented by Quality Innovation …

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CMS & CDC Trainings & Live Q&A Sessions on COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management

Trainings The CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series covers 13 topics that your nursing home staff must know to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. These trainings are housed on www.QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access. New, pre-recorded trainings will be released every Thursday at 4PM EDT through September 2020. Live Q&A Sessions Live …

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CMS Announces CHART Model for Improving Rural Health

The CMS Innovation Center recently announced the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model to address disparities by providing a path for rural communities to transform health care delivery by leveraging innovative financial arrangements combined with operational and regulatory flexibilities. The Model aims to: Increase financial stability for rural providers by providing up-front investments …

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Health Equity: Where can I learn more?

View popular resources from our partners. Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Office of Minority Health Health & Human Services (HHS): Health Disparities Partners The Community Guide: Health Equity Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: What is Health Equity? Rural Health Information Hub: Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit Social Determinants of Health …

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CMS Releases Long-Term Care Hospital Quality Reporting Program Web-Based Training

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering a web-based training course for those who are new to the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Quality Reporting Program (QRP). This course is designed to provide a general overview of the program as well as a variety of links and resources for additional information. Specific topics …

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CMS Stakeholder Calls: September 8-24

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. CMS COVID-19 …

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CMS Releases Interim Final Rule, Reporting Requirements Updates, and Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions

August 26, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE). On August 25, 2020, an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) went on display at the Federal …

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CMS Launches National Training Program to Strengthen Nursing Home Infection Control Practices

New training provides education on critical safety measures to keep residents safe August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing an unprecedented national nursing home training program for frontline nursing home staff and nursing home management. The training is designed to equip both frontline caregivers and their management with …

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Nursing Home Strategies for COVID-19 Only Isolation of COVID-19 Residents

August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicaid Informational Bulletin (CIB) that provides guidance to states on flexibilities that are available to increase reimbursement for nursing facilities that implement specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for COVID-19 patients. Nursing facilities are particularly …

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Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

Twice a month on Friday, 12:30–2:00 PM EDT Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their …

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Important CMS & CDC Nursing Home Training Series Change

Thursday, August 20, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transitioned the live nursing home infection control trainings to a pre-recorded, self-paced format. New Trainings Series The new CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series will include 13 topics …

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CMS Webinar on August 24: Medicare Care Compare

August 24, 2-2:45PM EDT Requires Login. You’ll get an email and appointment after registration. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making improvements to help people with Medicare find information about health care providers and services, as part of the eMedicare initiative to modernize and personalize your experiences with Medicare information. Care Compare …

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CMS Releases FAQs on MDPP Public Health Emergency Flexibilities

Do you have questions about the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Expanded Model Public Health Emergency (PHE) Flexibilities? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist MDPP Suppliers as they continue to provide services to Medicare Beneficiaries. If you have additional questions, please contact CMS by visiting …

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CMS Announces Resumption of Routine Inspections of All Provider and Suppliers, Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance to States, and Posts Toolkit to Assist Nursing Homes

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will resume routine inspections of all Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers to improve the safety and quality of life of patients and residents. CMS had previously suspended certain routine inspections as part of its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic …

CMS Announces Resumption of Routine Inspections of All Provider and Suppliers, Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance to States, and Posts Toolkit to Assist Nursing Homes Read More »

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health is honoring National Immunization Awareness Month. Although vaccination rates are low among all adults in the U.S., research shows that racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected when it comes to receiving recommended vaccines. Many factors can contribute to lower vaccination rates, including …

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Learn More About 2020 Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program Requirements

In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continued its overhaul of the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program to continue the advancement of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) utilization, focusing on burden reduction, and improving interoperability and patient access to health information. As a reminder, below are detailed requirements for the 2020 Medicare …

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Now Available: Web-Based Course on Hospice QRP Education and Training Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides a web-based training course for hospices wanting a resource to the many trainings offered related to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).  The goal is to assist hospice staff to better determine and access those trainings and documents that meet their learning needs. This course is …

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SNF Provider Preview Reports – Now Available

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports have been updated and are now available. The data contained within the Preview Reports is based on quality data submitted by SNFs between Q1 2019 – Q4 2019 (1/01/19 – 12/31/19) (for assessment-based measures) and Q4 2017 and Q3 2019 (10/01/17 – 9/30/19) (for claims-based measures). The data reflects what …

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Listening Session: CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

Thursday, August 13, 1:30-3PM EDT Proposed changes to the CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule are aimed at reducing burden, recognizing clinicians for the time they spend taking care of patients, removing unnecessary measures, and making it easier for clinicians to be on the path towards value-based care. During this listening session, CMS experts briefly cover …

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CMS Proposes Policies to Provide Seniors with More Choices and Lower Costs for Surgeries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several policies that would give Medicare beneficiaries more choices in where they seek care and lower their out-of-pocket costs for surgeries. The proposed rule takes steps that would allow hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to operate with better flexibility and patients to have what they …

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CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas

Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule would make permanent certain telehealth and workforce flexibilities provided during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and improve healthcare for Americans in Rural Areas  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that …

CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas Read More »

COVID-19: Coverage of Physician Telehealth Services Provided to SNF Residents

The current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) does not waive any requirements related to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Consolidated Billing (CB). However, CMS added CPT codes 99441, 99442, and 99443, to the list of telehealth codes coverable under the waiver during the COVID-19 PHE. These codes designate three different time increments of telephone evaluation and …

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CMS Updates Medicare Payment Policies for Several Types of Healthcare Providers

Three final rules will strengthen Medicare program July 31, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is finalizing three Medicare payment rules that further advance our efforts to strengthen the Medicare program by better aligning payments for inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPF), skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and hospices. Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities IPF PPS …

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CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset …

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Bringing Attention to Health Equity for People with Disabilities

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) is sharing messages and materials on supporting equal opportunities and inclusion for people with disabilities, many of whom are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. On July 26, 1990 the ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination against …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls: August 11-14

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

On July 28, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries …

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Home Health QRP COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is Available

The Home Health COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is now available. This tip sheet is designed to assist Home Health providers in understanding the status of the Home Health Quality Reporting Program (QRP) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Also provided is practical guidance to address Home Health quality data submission requirements starting July 1, …

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OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Race, Color, and National Origin Discrimination During COVID-19

Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing guidance to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance understand that they must comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in HHS-funded …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – July

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Announces Membership of Independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the MITRE Corporation has published the membership of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. CMS seeks an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The agency tasked the contractor, MITRE, …

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COVID-19: Nursing Home Testing, SNF Benefit Period Waiver

MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20011 Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is updated. Learn about: Updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for testing nursing home residents and patients Updated on applying the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit period waiver

HHS Telemedicine Hack

A 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers Wednesdays, July 22—Sept 23, 12-1PM ET Although telemedicine use has grown exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many ambulatory providers still lack the knowledge and skills needed to implement video-based telemedicine into their practices. To support wide adoption of telemedicine, the U.S. Department of Health …

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CMS Call on July 17: COVID-19 Lessons from the Front Lines Call

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 (Twice a month on Fridays at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern) Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, …

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New England Town Hall on July 29: Substance Use & COVID-19: A Way Forward

July 29, 2020 @ 2-3:30PM EDT The US. Department of Health & Human Services hosted a New England Virtual Town Hall with the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, entitled Substance Use and COVID-19: A Way Forward. This virtual, live New England Town Hall was designed to help our region chart a …

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Webinar on July 16: Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Billing and Claims

July 16, 2020 @ 12:30pm EDT This webinar provides an overview on the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Billing and Claims process. During this webinar, participants learn key terms and entities involved in the billing and claims process, understand the MDPP payment structure and how it applies to billing, and learn how to successfully submit …

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CMS Directs Additional Resources to Nursing Homes in COVID-19 Hotspot Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White …

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National Nursing Home Training on July 9: Managing Staffing Challenges

July 9, 2020 @ 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET The National Nursing Home Training Series is brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the QIO Program, a national network of Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. This Week’s Topic: Managing Staffing Challenges Join CMS …

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Webinar on July 16: Supporting Family Caregivers of Older Adults through Times of Stress and Isolation: A Panel Discussion

Thursday July 16, 3:00 – 4:00 pm EDT In April, Resources for Integrated Care (RIC) held a highly attended webinar on supporting caregivers of older adults through times of stress and isolation. Due to continued interest in this topic, MMCO is sponsoring a panel discussion offering additional information in response to audience questions. We also …

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CMS Proposes Medicare Payment Changes to Support Innovation and Increased Access for Dialysis in the Home Setting

Rule proposes improved process to pay for innovative dialysis equipment and support home dialysis for Medicare’s most vulnerable population Today, the Trump Administration took dramatic steps to support access to home dialysis through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Prospective Payment System (PPS). Building …

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Deadline for Eligible Hospitals: Promoting Interoperability Hardship Exception Application

Eligible Hospitals must Submit Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program Hardship Exception Application by September 1 The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that all eligible hospitals use 2015 Edition certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) to meet the requirements of the Promoting Interoperability Programs. CMS mandates downward payment adjustments be applied to eligible hospitals …

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Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Enrollment Tutorial Webinar

Want to help people with Medicare stay healthy and prevent diabetes? Become a Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) supplier. As a supplier, you’ll help people with Medicare make lasting behavior changes through group-based training & individual support. There have been some changes to the MDPP enrollment process due to COVID-19. Specifically, the emergency declaration waives the PECOS …

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The 2021 MIPS Self-Nomination Period is Now Open

The 2021 MIPS Self-Nomination Period for QCDRs and Qualified Registries is Now Open As of today, July 1, 2020, the 2021 Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Performance Period Self-Nomination period for Qualified Clinical Data Registries (QCDRs) and Qualified Registries is now open. QCDRs and Qualified Registries are CMS-approved vendors that collect clinical data on behalf …

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2021 MIPS Self-Nomination Materials Now Available

Visit the Quality Payment Program Resource Library to Access 2021 MIPS Self-Nomination Materials  This message is notification that the 2021 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) Self-Nomination Materials are now posted on the Quality Payment Program Resource Library. You may access the 2021 Self-Nomination Toolkit for Qualified Clinical Data Registry (QCDRs) and Qualified Registries zip file …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/29/20 and July

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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National Nursing Home Training on July 2: Transparency – Resident and Family Notification

July 2, 2020 @ 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET The National Nursing Home Training Series is brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the QIO Program, a national network of Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. This Week’s Topic: Transparency – Resident and Family …

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CMS Announces Plans to End the Blanket Waiver Requiring Nursing Homes to Submit Staffing Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The …

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CMS Announces Relief for Clinicians Participating in the Quality Payment Program in 2020

In response to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing flexibilities for clinicians participating in the Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) in 2020: Clinicians significantly impacted by the public health emergency may submit an Extreme & Uncontrollable Circumstances Application to reweight …

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CMS Unveils Major Organizational Change to Reduce Provider and Clinician Burden and Improve Patient Outcomes

New office to continue agency’s work of reducing regulatory burden to allow providers to focus on patients instead of paperwork and reducing health care costs Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing the creation of the Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics to unify the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory …

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Webinar on July 1: Dialyzing Patients in Skilled Nursing Homes During COVID-19

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 @ 3-4pm Special COVID-19 Webinar Presentation Nursing home residents who need dialysis treatments are at high-risk for Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) infection. You will hear from leaders with Dialyze Direct and Concerto Renal Services about how they are minimizing risks of contacting COVID-19. Dialyze Direct offers in-house dialysis machines and staffing in …

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CMS Issues Call to Action Based on New Data Detailing COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is calling for a renewed national commitment to value-based care based on Medicare claims data that provides an early snapshot of the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on the Medicare population. The data released today includes the total number of reported COVID-19 cases and …

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National Nursing Home Training on June 25: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Strategies for COVID Care

June 25, 2020 @ 4–5 PM ET The National Nursing Home Training Series is brought to you by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the QIO Program, a national network of Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. This Week’s Topic: PPE Strategies for COVID Care Following today’s …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/22/20

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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Medicare Coverage of COVID-19 Testing for Nursing Home Residents and Patients

June 19, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instructed Medicare Administrative Contactors and notified Medicare Advantage plans to cover coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) laboratory tests for nursing home residents and patients. This instruction follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recent update of COVID-19 testing guidelines for nursing homes …

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CMS Released Weekly Update of Nursing Home COVID-19 Data as of June 7, 2020

In case you missed it, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) posted the second set of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nursing home data today. The data will be updated weekly going forward; for more information on nursing homes, including a link to the COVID-19 nursing home data, visit Nursing Home Compare. CMS also …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/15/20

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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QIN-QIOs Partner with CMS to Create New COVID-19 Toolkit for Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a toolkit full of innovative solutions deployed at the state level to protect our nation’s vulnerable nursing home residents during the COVID-19 pandemic—all scouted and sourced by the IPRO QIN-QIO and other Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) serving every state and territory. Governors, long term …

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Webinar on June 11: Cohorting – Effective Management of Residents and Staff

Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 4:00–5:00 PM ET On June 11, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Quality Improvement Organization Program will provide an overview of cohorting guidelines and strategies that can be used as part of a facility’s infection control and prevention program. This training will cover a multi-disciplinary approach to cohorting, …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – Week of 6/8/2020

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspections Results Available on Nursing Home Compare

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is posting the first set of underlying coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) nursing home data. On April 19, 2020, CMS announced the requirement that nursing homes to inform residents, their families, and their representatives of COVID-19 cases in their facilities. In addition to this, nursing homes are …

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